Rodney Dangerfield Quotes

Rodney Dangerfield was without doubt one of the sharpest, funniest, and ingenious stand-up comedians that ever took the stage. His constant state of "getting no respect" ignited some of the world's greatest on-liners.

Rodney Dangerfield (November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), born Jacob Cohen, was an American comedian and actor, best known for the catchphrases "I don't get no respect" or "I get no respect" and his monologues on that theme.

He is also famous for his 1980s film roles, most notably in Caddyshack and Back To School.

His big break came when he filled in a slot at the last minute on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Dangerfield was born on Long Island in the town of Babylon, the son of Jewish parents. His father was the vaudevillian performer Phil Roy (Philip Cohen). His ancestors came to the United States from Hungary. He would later say that his father "was never home — he was out looking to make other kids," and that his mother "brought him up all wrong."

As a teenager, he got his start writing jokes for standup comics; he became one himself at 19 under the name Jack Roy. He struggled financially for nine years, at one point performing as a singing waiter (he was fired), and also working as a performing acrobatic diver before giving up show business to take a job selling aluminum siding to support his wife and family. He later said that he was so little known then that "at the time I quit, I was the only one who knew I quit!"

In the early 1960s he started down what would be a long road toward rehabilitating his career, still working as a salesman by day. He came to realize that what he lacked was an "image" — a well-defined on-stage persona that audiences could relate to and that would distinguish him from similar comics.

He took the name Rodney Dangerfield, which had been used as the comical name of a faux cowboy star by Jack Benny on his radio program at least as early as the December 21, 1941, broadcast and later as a pseudonym by Ricky Nelson on the TV program The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. However, Jack Roy remained his legal name, as he mentioned from time to time. During a question-and-answer session with the audience on the album No Respect, Rodney joked that his real name was Percival Sweetwater.

Fate intervened one Sunday night when The Ed Sullivan Show needed a last-minute replacement for another act. This extremely popular, live, weekly show, hosted by the very influential Sullivan, could make or break a show-business career. The middle-aged, husky Dangerfield, with his pessimistic monologue, was a contrast to the younger, trendier comics usually seen on the Sullivan show, and this alone gave him novelty value.

His success was assured when he told his very first "no respect" joke: "I get no respect. I played hide-and-seek, and they wouldn't even look for me." Dangerfield would also tell conventional jokes in his act: "I grew up in a tough neighborhood. Tough neighborhood! Teachers would get notes from parents saying, 'Please excuse Johnny for the next 5 to 10 years!'"

Dangerfield became the surprise hit of the show. Some of Dangerfield's material was unabashedly silly, but with his stopwatch delivery, it hardly mattered. "I used to date a girl from Buffalo," he would announce. "Why can't I meet a girl with normal parents?"

He would inform his audience, "I asked my wife, 'Is there somebody else?' She said, 'There MUST be.'"

Invariably the butt of his own jokes, the disrespect began with his parents almost at birth and continued through schoolyard taunting by classmates followed by failure in the dating scene, right up to his insulting wife.

On April 8, 2003, Dangerfield underwent brain surgery to improve blood flow in preparation for heart valve-replacement surgery on August 24, 2004. Upon entering the hospital, he uttered another characteristic one-liner when asked how long he would be hospitalized: "If all goes well, about a week. If not, about an hour and a half.”

In September 2004, it was revealed that Dangerfield had been in a coma for several weeks. Afterward, he began breathing on his own and showing signs of awareness when visited by friends. However, on October 5, 2004, he died at the UCLA Medical Center, from complications of the surgery he had undergone in August. He was a month and a half short of his 83rd birthday.

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.”

“I tell ya when I was a kid, all I knew was rejection. My yo-yo, it never came back.”

“With my wife I don't get no respect. I made a toast on her birthday to 'the best woman a man ever had.' The waiter joined me.”

“In the school I went to, they asked a kid to prove the law of gravity and he threw the teacher out of the window.”

“I had plenty of pimples as a kid. One day I fell asleep in the library. When I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.”

“Yeah, I know I'm ugly” I said to a bartender, “Make me a zombie.” He said “God beat me to it.”

“My wife was afraid of the dark...then she saw me naked and now she's afraid of the light.”

“My uncle's dying wish - he wanted me on his lap....He was in the electric chair.”

“Everyone gets their rough day. No one gets a free ride. Today so far, I had a good day. I got a dial tone.”

“I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet.”

“I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.”

“Life is just a bowl of pits.”

“My mother had morning sickness after I was born.”

“My wife is always trying to get rid of me. The other day she told me to put the garbage out. I said to her I already did. She told me to go and keep an eye on it.”

“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.”

“I have good looking kids. Thank goodness my wife cheats on me.”

“I worked in a pet store and people would ask how big I would get.”

“I looked up my family tree and found three dogs using it.”

“A girl phoned me the other day and said... Come on over, there's nobody home. I went over. Nobody was home.”

“I found there was only one way to look thin, hang out with fat people.”

“I haven't spoken to my wife in years. I didn't want to interrupt her.”

“I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.”

“Acting deals with very delicate emotions. It is not putting up a mask. Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself.”

“I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand.”

“I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”

“I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it.”

“I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.”

“I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette.”

“I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.”

“I saved a girl from being attacked last night. I controlled myself.”

“I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie.”

“I told my wife the truth. I told her I was seeing a psychiatrist. Then she told me the truth: that she was seeing a psychiatrist, two plumbers, and a bartender.”

“I was so ugly my mother used to feed me with a sling shot.”

“I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.”

“I'm taking Viagra and drinking prune juice - I don't know if I'm coming or going.”

“If it wasn't for pick-pockets I'd have no sex life at all.”

“It's tough to stay married. My wife kisses the dog on the lips, yet she won't drink from my glass.”

“Men who do things without being told draw the most wages.”

“Most of the arguments to which I am party fall somewhat short of being impressive, knowing to the fact that neither I nor my opponent knows what we are talking about.”

“My cousin is gay; he went to London only to find out that Big Ben was a clock.”

“My father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet.”

“My marriage is on the rocks again, yeah, my wife just broke up with her boyfriend.”

“My mother never breast fed me, she told me she only liked me as a friend.”

“My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too.”

“My wife met me at the door the other night in a sexy negligee. Unfortunately, she was just coming home.”

“My wife's jealousy is getting ridiculous. The other day she looked at my calendar and wanted to know who May was.”

“On Halloween, the parents sent their kids out looking like me.”

“One year they asked me to be poster boy - for birth control.”

“Some dog I got too. We call him Egypt. Because in every room he leaves a pyramid.”

“This morning when I put on my underwear I could hear the fruit-of-the-loom guys laughing at me.”

“We sleep in separate rooms, we have dinner apart, we take separate vacations - we're doing everything we can to keep our marriage together.”

“What a dog I got, his favorite bone is in my arm.”

“What a kid I got, I told him about the birds and the bee and he told me about the butcher and my wife.”

“When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.”

“When I was born I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother.”

“With me, nothing goes right. My psychiatrist said my wife and I should have sex every night. Now, we'll never see each other!”

“I come from a stupid family. My father worked in a bank. They caught him stealing pens.”

“I come from a stupid family. During the civil war my great uncle fought for the west.”

“When I was born, the doctor said to my father, " I'm sorry, we did everything we could but he still pulled thru".

“What a dog I got. Last night he went on the paper 4 times - 3 while I was reading it.”

“What a dog I got. I tried to mate her - she wants 50 biscuits.”

“What a dog I got, he found out we look alike, so he killed himself.”

“I went to a freak show and they let me in for nothing.”

“I stuck my head out the window and got arrested for mooning.”

“I was so depressed that I decided to jump from the tenth floor. They sent up a priest. He said " on your mark ......"

“I was lost and asked a cop to help me find my parents "do you think we'll find them", "I don't know there's so many places to hide."

“Last Halloween a kid tried to rip my face off. He thought it was a mask. Now it's different when I open the door the kids hand me candy.”

“When my old man wanted sex, my mother would show him a picture of me.”

“My old man, I told him I'm tired of running around in circles, So he nailed my other foot to the floor.”

“My wife made me join her bridge club ... I jump next Tuesday.”

“Boy what a hotel that was, why they stole my towel.”

“It's tough to stay married. My wife says no because she's tired then stays up and reads her book.”

“Last week my tie caught on fire, some guy tried to put it out with an axe.”

“For two hours, some guy followed me around with a pooper scooper.”

“A travel agent told I could spend 7 nights in HAWAII no days just nights.”

“My problem is that I appeal to everyone that can do me absolutely no good.”

“I bought a new book, '100 new ways to make love'. I ended up in traction - it was a misprint.”

”I'm a bad lover. I once caught a peeping tom booing me.”

“My wife only has sex with me for a purpose. Last night it was to time an egg.”

“I got myself good this morning too. I did my pushups in the nude, I didn't see the mouse trap.”

“A hooker once told me she had a headache.”

“I went to a massage parlor, it was self service.”

“My only thrill is self inflicted hickies.”

“FAT. My wife is so fat that when she lays on the beach the people feel sorry for her and try to roll her back into the water.”

“FAT. My wife is so fat that the last time I saw something that big it was grazing.”

“She was so fat that when she got on the scale a card came out saying one at a time.”

“She was so fat that her bathtub has stretch marks.”

“She was so fat that her belly button makes an echo.”

“She was so fat that she has her own postal code.”

“She was so fat that she wears a 'cross your thighs' bra.”

“She was so fat that she has a dress with a sign on the back that says "caution wide load".

“She was so fat that her clothes are made by Omar the tent maker.”

“She was so fat that when I hit her with my car she asked why I didn't go around her and I said that I didn't think I had enough gas.”

“She was so fat that her bikini is made out of two bed sheets (king-size).”

“She was so ugly that she was known as a two bagger, one for you in case her bag breaks.”

“She was so ugly that if you grab a dictionary and look under the word ugly you would see her picture.”

“She was so ugly that when I bent down to pet her cat it turned out to be the hair on her legs.”

“She was so ugly that I took her to a dog show and she won first prize.”

“She was so ugly that they use her in prisons to cure sex offenders.”

“She was so ugly that she has a face like a boiled boot and a tongue long enough to lace it up.”

“She was so ugly that she looks like she came second in a hatchet fight.”

“She was so ugly that the last time I saw a mouth like that it had a hook in it.”

“My wife's got a face like a saint - a Saint Bernard.”

“There's only one thing wrong with my wife's face - it shows.”

“She was so ugly that her face could stop a sundial.”

“She was old too, when she went to school they didn't have history.”

“I get up and a button falls off, I pick up my briefcase and the handle falls off I'm afraid to go to the bathroom.”

"Doc, every morning I look in the mirror and feel like barfing, what's wrong", he said "I don't know but your eyesight is perfect.”

“I told my dentist I want a tooth to match the others. He gave my one with four cavities.”

“He found a new way to cover up his bad breath. He holds up his arms.”

“His breath is so bad why every time he smokes he blows onion rings.”

“When I was born the doctor turned me upside down and said, "my god twins".

“My wife has to be the worst cook. I don't believe meatloaf should glow in the dark .”

“My wife has to be the worst cook. In my house, we pray after we eat.”

“My wife has to be the worst cook. Her specialty is indigestion.”

“My wife has to be the worst cook. I've got the only dog who begs for alka-seltzer.”

“Why her cooking is so bad that the flies pitched in to fix the screen door. I leave dental floss in the kitchen and watch the roaches hang themselves.”

“One night she told me to put out the garbage. I told her "you cooked it, you take it out".

“I have three kids, one of each.”

“For Christmas one year I bought my son a BB gun. He bought me a t-shirt with a bulls eye on the back.”

“My kids scotch tape worms to the sidewalk and watch the birds get hernias.”

“My kid wants to be a prison warden when he grows up so he can put thumb tacks on the electric chairs.”

“She looked at my calendar and wanted to know who JUNE was.”

“Boy is my wife stupid. It takes her and hour and a half to watch 60 minutes. My daughters no bargain either. In public school she was voted most likely to conceive.”

“I came from a real tough neighborhood. In the local restaurant I sat down and had broken leg of lamb.”

“I came from a real tough neighborhood. Once a guy pulled a knife on me. I knew he wasn't a professional, the knife had butter on it.”

“I came from a real tough neighborhood. I bought a waterbed and found a guy at the bottom of it.”

“I came from a real tough neighborhood. On my street, the kids take hubcaps - from moving cars.”

“I once asked a policeman how far it was to the subway.” He said, "I don't know, no one has ever made it".”

“I came from a real tough neighborhood. Why every time I shut the window I hurt somebody's fingers.”

“The other night a mugger took off his mask and made me wear it.”

“Once I pulled a job, I was so stupid. I picked a guys pocket on an airplane and made a run for it.”

“Last year my birthday cake looked like a prairie fire.”

“I got a book for my birthday "How to make it big" I had to take it back.”

“Last week I was walking by a cemetery, two guys came after me with shovels. It was all about money.”

“I'm at the age where I want two girls. In case I fall asleep they will have someone to talk to.”

“I bought a new Japanese car, I turned on the radio ... I don't understand a word they're saying.”

“I have nothing but troubles with my car. Every Sunday I take my family out for a push.”

“I bought a perfect second car ... a tow truck.”

“My wife's not to smart. I told her our kids were spoiled.” She said, "All kids smell that way".

“Once somebody stole our car. I asked my wife if she saw who it was.” She said "No, but I did get the license number".

“My wife had her drivers’ test the other day. She got 8 out of 10. The other 2 guys jumped clear.”

“My wife a great driver, she once hit a deer. It was in a zoo. There are a pair of shoes on the dashboard. They belong to the last guy she hit.”

“My cousin is gay, I always tell him that in our family tree, he's in the fruit section.”

“My cousin is gay, in school while other kids were dissecting frog, he was opening flies.”

“My doctor told me to watch my drinking. Now I drink in front of a mirror. And I drink too much, way too much; my doctor drew blood he ran a tab!”

“One time my whole family played hide and seek. They found my mother in Pittsburgh!”

“With my old man I got no respect. I asked him, "How can I get my kite in the air?" He told me to run off a cliff.”

“I had a good time last week. I did a show; the whole audience was midgets. I got a standing ovation - I didn't even know it!”

“Oh, last week was a rough week. I noticed my gums were shrinking. I was brushing my teeth with Preparation H.”

“Last week I told my psychiatrist, "I keep thinking about suicide." He told me from now on I have to pay in advance.”

“When I was born the doctor took one look at my face, turned me over and said, Look ... twins!”

“Every day the elevator attendant asks me the same thing ... "Basement?"

"I feel sorry for short people, you know. When it rains, they're the last to know."

"Its lonely on the top when there's no one on the bottom."

“Never guess your wife's size. Just buy anything marked "petite" and hold on to the receipt.”

“I'll tell ya, my wife and I, we don't think alike. She donates money to the homeless, and I donate money to the topless!”

“One night I came home. I figured, let my wife come on. I'll play it cool. Let her make the first move. She went to Florida.”

“I asked my old man if I could go ice-skating on the lake. He told me, "Wait til it gets warmer."

“I knew a girl so ugly, I took her to the top of the Empire State building and planes started to attack her.”

“What a childhood I had, why, when I took my first step, my old man tripped me!”

“When I was a kid I got no respect. The time I was kidnapped, and the kidnappers sent my parents a note they said, "We want five thousand dollars or you'll see your kid again."

“I tell ya, my wife was never nice. On our first date, I asked her if I could give her a goodnight kiss on the cheek - she bent over!”

“I tell you, with my doctor, I don't get no respect. I told him, "I've swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills." He told me to have a few drinks and get some rest.”

“With my dog I don't get no respect. He keeps barking at the front door. He don't want to go out. He wants me to leave.”

"I tell ya, I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetery plot. The guy said, “There goes the neighborhood!”

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